I don't own any of the characters, I just like to play in their world.
There is coarse language and mentions of child abuse in this story too.
It was the first day of term and Harry was storming down the steps to the dungeons on his way to detention. He always tried to ignore the insults Snape liked to drown him in, but still couldn't help exploding at the professor when some of his comments came too close to home.
Harry had rolled his eyes when Snape called for silence. He was sure this was just another way to feed the man's dark ego. The Potions Master obviously knew that the moment his presence was noticed any idle chatter immediately stopped. And he had the nerve to accuse Harry of basking in his notoriety.
Harry scowled to himself and his mind wandered when the professor began his usual first lesson speech reminding most of them just in how low regard he held them. His methods apparently didn't change regardless of which subject he taught. It wasn't until he felt a shift in the classes' attention that he looked up from seemingly staring at the desk.
"Well Potter?" Snape was wearing the familiar sneer he seemed to reserve just for Harry himself.
"I am not going to repeat myself for those who clearly think they are above listening in the first place. Evidently it takes effort for the chosen one to force his mind onto such mundane topics as lessons." He paused to give time for the Slytherins in the class to snigger, then continued "It must be difficult to return to being a student after a summer of being waited on like the nobility you seem to think you are. At least now your adoring public are back on side again. I can't imagine many of the articles published last year would have made the Potter scrapbook."
One day away from Privet Drive plainly wasn't long enough to be able to deal to Snape Harry decided. He could feel the anger rolling off him in waves, and by the smirk on Snape's face; he too could sense he was pushing Harry to the edge. It hurt more than it should. He knew he should be able to brush off the harsh words by now, and from most people he could. Snape seemed to think he was just particularly good at pushing Harry's buttons, but he had no idea the way his remarks cut the teen when things should have been so different.
"Nothing to say Potter? No already prepared speeches practised lovingly in front of your mirror for occasions such as this?"
Just as he was about to open his mouth, no doubt to continue, Harry stood up. The silence in the room seemed deafening to all except for Harry who could hear his pulse thundering in his ears.
"Ah you do have something you wanted to contribute then?"
Harry breathed in deeply once and raised his eyes to meet the Defense Professors. The emerald eyes glowed with barely restrained fury as he ground out, "Fuck you sir". The class gasped in unison, while shock briefly flashed across Snape's face before it was masked with a sneer.
"Detention", he spat. "Be in my office at 7 tonight where we shall discuss the rest of your punishment. And 50 points from Gryffindor. Now remove yourself from my classroom before I allow you to be used for target practice." Harry though could see the glimmer of victory in Snape's dark eyes as he glared down at him.
Harry had thrown his book in his bag and left the room, not caring that he had risen to the bait. Nor that his first evening back would be spent in the company of the one man he wished never to have to see again. He had told himself many times over the past years that this is the way it would be from now on. His first year had demonstrated that quite clearly.
Even if Snape couldn't recall the truth anymore, some of things he said and the way he acted were exactly what he had so despised about Harry's father and Sirius when they had all been at school together. That was what really fuelled Harry's anger. Snape had hated the way the Marauders had treated him as a teenager, but felt it was ok for him to do it now he was in the opposite role. Despite the fact he was now a teacher mistreating a student.
He knew he was going to be early, but he couldn't wait any longer. He had spent the rest of the day in the Room of Requirement blasting things apart, trying to work off some of his anger. It hadn't worked. In fact he seemed to be getting more and more frustrated as Snape's sneering triumphant face kept swimming before his eyes. So he'd decided to go down now. He knew the professor usually finished dinner early on days he had assigned detention so he guessed he would already be in his office.
Thundering down the corridor, Harry didn't even pause as he knocked two younger Slytherins out of his way. When he arrived at Snape's door he didn't bother knocking, just threw it open and walked in. The anger that had been racing through him all day seemed to reach new heights at the sight of Snape's mouth twisting no doubt about to curse him for his entrance.
They stared at each other for a moment before Snape broke the silence.
"I think you should go outside and try that again Mr Potter or I will be forced to increase the amount of detentions I already had planned for you. Oh, and another 10 points from Gryffindor for your lack of manners and respect."
"Respect is earned professor not given. I want to talk to you. Properly. And you're going to listen to me for once." Snape looked as though he was about to interrupt but Harry carried on. "Why do you do it? I know you must get some petty satisfaction out of baiting me, but why do you insist on going on about the Dursleys? Even if you don't know it all, you know enough that I'm not the pampered little prince you once assumed me to be. So why do you still insist on bringing them into conversations? Are you purely trying to get a rise out of me? Do you actually get that much enjoyment from hurting me with things you know I don't and never will have? Are you really that sick?"
"Potter you surely don't think you are the only one who has had an unpleasant childhood. I saw your memories last year in case you've forgotten. You may not have gotten on well with your family all the time, but I'm telling you now boy, you were extremely lucky. But of course that's not good enough for you. No, poor Potter, did Dumbledore's little golden boy get picked on by his nasty cousin?"
Harry automatically raised his wand and pointed it straight at Snape's heart. "Don't you EVER fucking call me that again."
"What did you say to me? And put your wand away you foolish boy."
"I told you not to ever fucking call me Dumbledore's little golden boy again. Is there something wrong with your ears now as well as your memory professor?" Harry drawled in the most condescending way he could manage.
"You know for someone whose life depends on them being able to control their mind twenty-four-seven, it's incredibly surprising you're not dead yet."
"I can't believe you still don't remember." He persisted as if Snape hadn't tried to speak. "All those times you helped me. You're pathetic! If anyone is Dumbledore's golden boy it's you, but what's worse is you have no idea. He's fucked with you almost as much as he has with me. I say almost because you're the lucky one who gets to forget it."
"What are you babbling about Potter?" Snape finally snapped out.
Harry took a deep breath and replaced his wand in his pocket. "When I first came to Hogwarts I couldn't wait to see you again you know."
"What-" Snape tried again but was immediately cut off.
"Finally someone who knew! Someone I knew could help. Who had helped. Someone who had been kind. One of the only people in my pitiful childhood who had shown me any care."
"Shut up! Just shut the hell up for once! In my first lesson with you, if you had just opened your fucking eyes for a minute and looked past your pathetic schoolboy grudge with a dead man you might have remembered. But no! Severus Snape; just as much of a bully, if not more so than my father."
Loosing what little patience he had, Snape raised his wand but the next minute it flew across the dungeon office and hit the wall behind Harry without the boy even taking his own wand back out of his pocket. Even more furious than he was before Potter started rambling he made to stand, only to realise his body had been frozen to his chair, allowing just the movement of his head.
"How did you learn my spells?" Snape gasped.
"You taught me sir." Harry snorted, "The summer after the tournament. At the Dursleys. You also told me how the ministry can't trace wandless magic with the underage trace. I think you said something about how if Dumbledore wasn't going to teach me anything useful then you would. Even if it was against your better judgement. But I imagine he made you forget that too.
"Did you know that sometimes when Madam Pomfrey cares for you after you've been summoned, Dumbledore takes advantage of your drugged state to use Legilemency on you? He didn't expect you to come and see me again after I started here knowing how you felt about me, regardless of the fact that you weren't exactly pleasant. You're lucky he still has use for you as a spy or he may have killed you for that. You weren't very kind about him you see. Not that the Light Lord" Harry sneered, voice dripping with disdain, "would have raised his wand to you. But I'm sure he'd have orchestrated it so you slipped up in front of your first master."
"Hold your tongue about things you have no idea of boy" Snape snarled. He had started to become truly concerned about Potter's state of mind.
"No! For once in your stupid life you are going to listen to me. I will make you remember, even if it destroys your mind in the process. I will tear down all those shitting Obliviates and try and find the man who came so often to help me." Harry's eyes were blazing with fury but a hint of desperation was starting to shine through too.
"Potter, I think you should try to calm down."
"NO! I've spent so long being calm. Letting you belittle me in class, while in the beginning waiting for you to ask to speak to me in private. All those detentions, every time I thought 'maybe now' but you were too busy sneering and making snarky remarks about a person in whose company you spent far more time than I ever did.
"Then last year with your hopeless Occlumency lessons. You didn't even try and look. You latched on to memories from Hogwarts, flitted about in a few tame ones from the Dursleys. You may be able to look in someone's mind Sir but you have no clue what you're really doing. You didn't once try! You just looked for what you expected to find and then acted all triumphant when you thought you found it." Harry's anger seemed to dissolve and his voice broke as he said "You fucking bastard, you promised me".
"What did I promise you?"
"You promised to protect me-"
"What do you think I have been trying to do for the last five years Potter?" Snape fumed.
"No, that's the promise you made to Dumbledore. You promised me when I was five, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven to protect me from them. All of them. The Dursleys and Dumbledore.
'When you come to Hogwarts I'll be able to help you Harry.' You'd say 'I can't do anything now. My past is against me and Dumbledore is your magical guardian. When you come to school it will be easier. After your first year you won't ever have to come back here.'
You'd force me to look you in the eyes and say 'I promise you Harry. You're mother was my best friend for almost all my childhood and she always looked after me. I promise I will do the same for you.' Then you'd hug me. You! The greasy git of the dungeons hugging a Potter! And you'd stay with me till I fell asleep; reminding me it's only 4 more years, three more years, two more years to go."
Tears had started to pour down Harry's face as he repeated the long broken promises. "But because you, bloody "master spy" couldn't keep your own memories hidden he made you forget, every time. Only when you were needed to visit me again would you be allowed to remember, and you didn't even notice! You're so good at hating me now, in front of everyone, why couldn't you have shown him that then?
"For my first few months here do you know how close I came to leaving? Because of you? You didn't even have to like me in public, what with me being in Gryffindor and all but you didn't have to single me out all the time. If it wasn't for the fact I had friends for the first time in my life I would have walked away and never come back. Or killed myself as I can't imagine Dumbledore would have let me leave. I would have even gone back to the Dursleys if I had to, because at least with them I knew what to expect. But with you! You made me hope, something I had learned as a kid not to do. I had been holding on to seeing you again. Dreamt about you for years. Of being able to be near you all the time instead of fleeting moments where you'd come and put my fucking body back together!"
Abruptly, Harry tore of his robe and shirt, then concentrating; he dropped the glamour he'd worn since coming to Hogwarts, which hid all the scars on his body.
"Do you remember anything? Do you remember healing some of these? Trying to find a potion to make the words disappear or at least change them into regular scars?"
Snape looked physically sick at the state of the boy in front of him. Scars crossing over each other, so thick that the skin in between was hardly recognisable. Ribs that he could clearly see hadn't healed correctly even from across the room. The words that had been carved into Harry's flesh stood out in spite of the dark light of his office. Harry stalked over to him and forced him to meet his eyes.
"If I can't break the Memory Modifiers on your mind, you're just going to have to take the memories from mine. Do it."
"Legilimency. Now." Harry wandlessly summoned Snape's wand from where it still laid and released his professor enough to be able to raise his arms. "Look for them...please."
"Legilimens" Snape whispered.
Immediately his mind was flooded with memories. As each one where he was present came he felt the corresponding ones hidden in his own mind break free.
A tiny Harry being beaten; whipped with the belt of his uncle who seemed huge in comparison to the curled up body below him.
Dumbledore turning up "There's someone here to help you Harry my boy."
Severus could see himself looking down at him in complete shock.
Severus healing him. Holding him. Repeating everything that Harry told him he had said.
In the office, Snape tried to pull out of Harry's mind, but Harry refused to release him this time.
More beatings. Broken arms. Legs. A rib poking through the skin on a too skinny chest.
Vernon cutting words onto him. FREAK. MURDERER.
Severus again, trying to keep Harry conscious. Whispering to him. "When you get to school, I'll arrange to meet you. I'll have some potions and salves ready. I'll create one if I have to, to lessen the scars".
A nine year old Harry flinching away from Snape after being raped for the first time. Severus healing him again. Leaving him some cream for him to use internally.
Harry aged ten screaming at him that he's a freak. Why does he come and help him? Severus removing his own shirt and showing him the scars on his chest and back from his father. "You're not alone Harry. I've promised I will help you. I have friends who work for the Ministry. Once you enter the magical world we can get you help. Get you away from Dumbledore. We'll get you a proper guardian."
Severus with Harry the summer he turns eleven. Tells him he loves him. Promises to protect him.
Harry threw a panting Snape out of his mind as he collapsed to the floor himself. He took a few moments to calm himself before he pulled on his shirt and stood up. Eventually he looked up to meet his very sick looking professor straight in the eyes.
"You promised" he breathed and then turned and left the room.